Dead Snow (Død Snø)

| Tuesday, April 5, 2011
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2009TV-MA91 minutes
Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Laursen, Lasse Valdal, Ane Dahl Torp, Bjorn Sundquist, Evy Kasseth Rosten, Vegar Hoel, Orjan Gamst
Tommy Wirkola
Foreign, Foreign Horror, Horror, Zombie Horror, Scandinavia
This movie is:
Violent, Campy

A group of Norwegian friends get the scariest history lesson of their lives during a weekend getaway to the snowy town of Øksfjord, where the party is interrupted by throngs of Nazi zombies who once occupied the area. Armed with a machine-gun-equipped snowmobile, the gang fights for survival in director Tommy Wirkola's quirky horror, shot on location in the mountains of Norway. The film had its U.S. premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Great, great fun for fans of horror comedy! I thought the balance between gore, terror, shock, and hilarity was spot-on perfect. Part of the Midnight Adrenaline series at SIFF 2009, Dead Snow delivered exactly that—lots and lots of adrenaline! The kills are outrageously gross and wickedly funny and the tone moves back and forth between scary and comic with a constant ebb and flow, delivering regular cathartic relief to the build-up of terror. My favorite: when one of the men cuts off his own arm with a chainsaw, trying to avoid infection, because he's just been bitten by a Nazi zombie and doesn't want to turn into a zombie! If that doesn't sound like an absolutely inspired sight-gag to you, stay far away from this! These are zombie experts (zombie film-buffs that is) so they are better equipped than most of the victims in your average zombie flick to launch a spirited defense. Granted, I haven't seen every zombie flick out there, but I thought this fact alone added a good deal of originality to the story. Of course they don't listen to the warning from the local, who turns out to be way less savvy about survival of a zombie attack then the kids he's warning—I mean, how has this dude ever lived long enough to give the creepy warning in the first place?!?! Visually, despite it's low budget, it really delivers the goods—perhaps because you can't really go wrong with an isolated cabin in the snow-covered mountains of Norway. Stark and creepy already, it makes a fabulous blank canvas for uber-gore. Fans who like their horror “serious” probably won't love this—but for horror comedy camp fans, this is top-shelf goods!!!

Friends can only get closer when zombies are involved.
No american made cars in this movie.
Dead Snow never tries to fall under the pretense of being anything new or original, but rather gives a wink, smile, and nod to the forebearers of the horror genre. All of which could be a fault if it wasn't for the comedic blood gushing moments on pure white snow beautifully captured for viewing entertainment. The typical generic set up: 8 medical students on a long weekend of R&R with a little beer, fun, and sex set in a remote cabin. All is fun and good until a stranger comes along to tell a local tale of Nazi torture, gold, and MIA soldiers. After that the real carnage begins. If you didn't find the opening scene of zombies chasing a female victim to the song of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy funny, then much of the humor will go above your head. There is no obvious hero of the bunch and none are annoying enough to route for their death. Dead Snow is a light entertaining horror movie that delivers some laughs, blood, action, and maybe a couple of scares. Lesson learned: Don't steal gold and if ever in an avalanche spit to find out which way is up. Surviving zombies: Who knows how to survive that one? Dead Snow: Leave your brain at the door and enjoy the rare bloody goodness of a fun horror movie.

This is when they make out.
And they watch.
Very gory, and even entertaining for a movie in Norwegian. Not the greatest zombie movie out there, but enough action to keep you entertained. Great effects, none of those very visible switch to computer graphics you see in so many movies. I found the premise revealed at the end as the cause of the zombie attacks a little dubious, but I guess if I can accept that there a Nazi zombies then it doesnt matter too much.


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